The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa today announced a major investment in the platinum mining and beneficiation industry that will see the creation of a significant platinum group metals (PGM) company in the North West Province of South Africa. The investment will be into a newly consolidated company, NewCo, which has the potential to create some 9,000 direct and permanent jobs. This consolidation provides the foundation for a large, shallow and low-cost mining complex, with long life (in excess of 30 years) and a promising strong growth profile. NewCo’s resource base is approximately 70 million 4PGM ounces and, uniquely, the majority of these ounces are shallower than 600 metres, making
this one of the safest and most energy efficient new generation PGM operations in the world.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Pallinghurst Investor Consortium (Pallinghurst), the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Tribe (Bakgatla) and Platmin Limited (Platmin) have concluded a R3.24 billion transaction that would bring about the consolidation of a number of important PGM properties around the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine. In addition, the IDC and the parties will form a joint venture to develop and fund PGM beneficiation opportunities in the region.
Announcing the partnership, IDC CEO, Geoffrey Qhena said: “This strategic partnership between the IDC and Pallinghurst will certainly transform the local platinum mining and beneficiation landscape. IDC’s equity funding is the catalyst that is required to implement the consolidation plan that has been developed by Pallinghurst over the last five years. This will assist the consolidated PGM entity to become one of the major PGM players within five years. The investment is attractive to the IDC as the PGM consolidated entity will benefit from shallow resources which will allow for safe and cost efficient mining.” In addition, Qhena said: “This investment is the first step in developing downstream beneficiation of PGM’s and demonstrates the IDC’s commitment to the development of South Africa’s mineral beneficiation industry.”
The IDC’s total exposure to the mining industry is R45 billion. The Chairman of Pallinghurst and Platmin, Brian Gilbertson commented: “This is the fourth time that I have had the privilege of partnering with the IDC. As with the others, this PGM partnership is intended to create an industry-transforming entity, generating capital investment and jobs for South Africa. We are proud to welcome the IDC as a cornerstone shareholder at this pivotal time. The IDC’s involvement will ensure the consolidated company is well positioned to become the next major producer in the strategically
important platinum industry.” His Royal Highness Kgosi Pilane of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Traditional Community in South Africa, a 27% shareholder in the post consolidated company said: “The transaction has crystalized the vision always held by the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela to develop a regional PGM mining leader which will create wealth and jobs, which will also be used as a catalyst for the other developments to benefit the entire community.
It is significant for our 350 000 strong Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Tribe, by not only creating additional permanent jobs in the region, but also providing the financial engine for further upliftment of our community.” CEO of Pallinghurst, Arne Frandsen said: “This consolidation has been almost five years in the making and represents an exciting development for all stakeholders. The IDC’s equity investment will allow NewCo to remain debt-free with a strong balance sheet, thereby providing financial security to execute our unique growth opportunities. Our beneficiation partnership with the IDC has the potential to transform the PGM smelting industry and to provide third party juniors access to cost-efficient concentrate processing.”